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Probably one of the oldest methods for reading tarot cards is the tarot reading Celtic Cross. It survived as a simple and powerful spread, and, as a consequence of its continued use, the intense energy that built up around it had grown through centuries. It’s not the easiest spread, which is why it makes sense to ask a professional tarot reader to help you with it. But if you’re adamant about trying the Celtic Cross reading yourself, we’ll help.

The Celtic Cross, one of the most widely used tarot card sets, has ten cards. Six of these form the cross right in front of the reader, while the other four are vertically placed on the reader’s right (see the picture below). Other versions of the free Celtic Cross tarot reading consist of up to 13 cards, and the layout is somewhat different from one reader to another, but the one explained here is the most widely used one.

Celtic Cross Tarot Reading Guide

Let’s explore what each of the cards means in the free Celtic Cross tarot reading online. If, at some point, you realize that the Celtic Cross tarot reading is a bit too complicated for you, consider trying the simpler 10-card tarot spread instead.


Card #1

The first card is placed in the middle of the cross. This card is called the significator. It represents you, the person who is seeking answers from the deck. If you talk to the tarot cards through a professional tarot reader, card #1 still represents you, not the reader.

Card #2

The next card of the free Celtic Cross tarot layout is the crossing horizontally positioned on top of the significator. This is the interpreted dispute symbol, meaning the immediate challenge or problem you are currently facing and want cards’ guidance about.

Card #3

The third card, known as the base or the foundation, is positioned vertically below the cross and is the nearest to the person reading the cards. It represents the past events and circumstances that led to the challenges at hand, hence the name.

Card #4

The fourth card, the left “arm” of a cross, stands for the past. The difference between The Foundation (card #3) and The Past (card #4) is that the latter represents the recent past, the events that happened pretty much immediately before the reading.

Card #5

The fifth card of the free tarot reading Celtic Cross, which shows the alternate possibilities of the problem, is placed above the central cards. It’s called The Crown and represents the potential future or what could be achieved (depending on the intentions and questions of the person asking the deck for advice).

Card #6

Card number six, which is positioned to the right of the central cards, stands for the foreseeable future and completes the right-hand side of a plus (+) sign. It predicts the outcome of the situation the reader (or the person they are reading for) has in mind.

Cards #7-10

The last four cards of the free Celtic Cross tarot reading online are placed vertically to the right of the previous six cards. The seventh card represents The Subconscious, the feelings or factors that affect the situation at hand but are somewhat hidden for now.

The eighth card is called The Advice, and it suggests the approach or mindset one needs to adopt to resolve the problem successfully.

The ninth card is called The External Influences. It stands for the people, energies, or events in the environment that affect the outcome of the situations the deck is being asked about.

Finally, the tenth card, which is referred to as The Hope or The Fears (depending on how positive your or your reader’s outlook is), represents the hopes and fears surrounding the current challenge.

The Interplay of Energies in the Free Celtic Cross Tarot Card Reading

In the circular section (cards #1-6), there is a feminine energy that works in harmony with the male energy of The Staff section (cards #7-10). These two parts illustrate the duality of the polarities within the human psyche.

The cross-section is split into two crosses, with the central cross made up of two cards that are enclosed in a wider six-card cross. The smaller cross represents the core of the question and what is most important for the questioner during the reading. It’s the hub that turns the wheel of life around.

An Afterword

To interpret the free tarot card readings Celtic Cross correctly, you need not only an understanding of the individual meanings of the tarot cards within it but also an ability to synthesize these meanings across the spread. That’s one of the main reasons why it’s always a good idea to consult a professional reader, especially if you don’t have much experience with tarot.

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